The demonstration farm at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA), recently produced 15 tonnes of barramundi (Lates calcarifer), which are also known as Asian sea bass, from a one-hectare pond.
Officials from the Marine Products Export Development Agency (MPEDA), which runs RGCA, said that the initiative would encourage aquaculturists to grow the fish as an alternative to shrimp, according to Business Line.
In trials at the RGCA demonstration farm, in Pondicherry, seabass fry grew from 1.5-2 cm to 1.2-1.5 kg in 10 months. They were fed floating pellets and recorded a food conversion ratio (FCR) of 1:1.8. The production cost was 300 rupees per kg and the fish were sold at the farm gate for 420-450 rupees per kg, for an overall profit of 1.7 m rupees (£18,000), making the species a potentially attractive proposition for many shrimp farmers looking to diversify.
The RGCA operates a barramundi hatchery, capable of producing 3 million fry a year at Thoduvai in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district, the first of its kind in India.